Arrest in 2001 murder

"" A man surrendered to police one week after homicide detectives issued a warrant for his arrest in a 2001 drug-related murder.

Last Thursday, Randy Cook, 40, was charged with the murder of Kirsten Ruth, 24, of the 300 block of Snyder Avenue, said Cpl. Jim Pauley of the Police Public Affairs Unit.

Fourth District police found the victim April 26, 2001, with a single gunshot wound to her head on the 700 block of Tree Street, Pauley said.

Ruth had been talking to a friend around 12:50 a.m. when a man walked up to the pair and fired one shot at the victim before fleeing, police said.

Investigators ruled the slaying drug-related.

An arrest warrant was issued for Cook on July 13, said Homicide Fugitive Division Detective Ed Rocks.

Rocks and partner James Burke attempted to track down the fugitive at various homes throughout the city, including one on the 2300 block of North Carlisle Street and another that Cook owns near the border of West Philly and Upper Darby, Rocks said. Each time, the suspect eluded police.

Cook is charged with murder, aggravated and simple assault and related offenses.

Taxi driver shoots self

A 26-year-old cabby was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head inside his taxi shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday, said Stephanie McNeil of the Police Public Affairs Unit.

The man was discovered on the 3100 block of South 24th Street.

The Medical Examiner pronounced the victim dead at the scene around noon, police said. A Ruger 9 mm handgun was found near the man’s leg, McNeil said.

Police did not release information on the victim’s identity.

No brake for suspect

Driving around with a non-functioning brake light ended up being the least of a 17-year-old’s problems when police allegedly found guns and drugs in his possession during a July 19 car stop.

One of the firearms had been stolen, said Sgt. Steve Biello of South Detective Division.

When Fourth District officers pulled over the driver at 9 p.m. at Fifth Street and Moyamensing Avenue, they noticed him making a move toward the passenger seat of his car, Biello said.

The suspect was instructed to exit the vehicle, and a search of his car turned up a KelTec 9 mm handgun under the passenger seat, the sergeant said. Also in the teen’s possession was a .32-caliber Beretta and 12 oval pills alleged to be Oxycontin, said Biello.

The suspect, from the 300 block of Wolf Street, was charged with two counts of Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, one count of receiving stolen property for the stolen Beretta and possession and delivery of a controlled substance,

Police seek bike bandits

South Detective Division’s Special Investigations Unit is probing a string of robberies that are believed to be linked.

In all three incidents, a trio of teens on bikes rode up to their victims, pointed a gun at them and attempted to rob them, said Sgt. Steve Biello of South Detectives. But it wasn’t until their third try that the offenders actually succeeded.

The first incident happened Monday around 1:45 a.m. on the 1600 block of Porter Street. Two 17-year-old males told police that three teens approached them. One pulled out a gun and demanded their cell phones and money, Biello said.

When the victims refused to turn over the items, the thugs pedaled off, only to try their luck again 10 minutes later on the same block, said the sergeant. This time, they targeted a 16-year-old female using the same ruse. Again, they fled empty-handed, Biello said.

Then around 2:15 a.m., police said the teens struck again on the 1600 block of Wolf Street, where they robbed a 21-year-old of her Nextel cell phone, $200 and her earrings, said Biello.

To report information, call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.

Busted at the ballpark

Police were busy behind the scenes at Citizens Bank Park last week, as a trio of fans and an employee were arrested in separate incidents.

Three New Jersey men got into trouble before and after last Thursday night’s Phillies game, police said. All were arrested after they allegedly smashed a vendor’s truck window and then beat him with beer cans, said Sgt. Steve Biello of South Detectives.

On their way into Citizens Bank Park around 5 p.m., the suspects allegedly surrounded the 39-year-old victim’s truck on the 1100 block of Pattison Avenue and began taunting him, the sergeant said. When a woman who works for the victim told him she had heard a loud bang, the victim walked over to find one of his windows smashed, said Biello.

The victim’s ordeal resumed after the game, police said.

An argument ensued over the vandalism, during which the trio allegedly kicked, punched and struck the victim with beer cans, said Biello.

Police working the Phillies game spotted the assault and arrested Patel Vaibhavava, 28, of Thorofare, N.J.; Michael Rodbaugh, 25, of Westville, N.J.; and Steve Schultz, 25, of Woodbury, N.J.

All were charged with simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of an instrument of crime.

The victim suffered a small cut to his right eye but did not require hospital treatment.

On Friday, a female employee of Citizens Bank Park was arrested for packing a pistol, police said.

Security guards stopped the woman after spotting a black handgun in her purse following an employee bag check around 3 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Biello of South Detectives.

Cynthia Hastins, 47, of the 2000 block of Pemberton Street, was charged with two counts of Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act.

Fleet-footed robbery

Police are looking for the two men who held up a shoe store at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon.

The pair entered Payless Shoes at 25 Snyder Ave. around 12:20 p.m., said Cpl. Jim Pauley of the Police Public Affairs Unit.

After forcing an employee to open the safe, the culprits pushed her to the floor and hot-footed it out of the store $150 richer, the corporal said.

To report information, call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.